A student team from SPSU on a mission to help battered women break the cycle of violence was one of two winners to emerge from a March 3 Social Business Workshop initiated by the University System of Georgia (USG).
The SPSU team will participate in the 10-week Village Capital-Atlanta Funding Competition. This April-June event offers the team a chance to compete with other entrepreneurs to win a $50,000 investment with which to bring their businesses to life.
The team competed with students from Fort Valley State University, Gainesville State College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia State University and Valdosta State University for the opportunity. During the workshop, each team was mentored by a small group of venture capitalists before making a presentation to the entire assembly and answering questions from other venture capitalists.
The teams that took part in the March 3 workshop represented the top six out of 38 business plans showcased last October during the Georgia Social Business and Microcredit Forum, a statewide social business plan competition hosted by the Board of Regents. Students were charged with creating proposals addressing community issues and promoting job creation within their local communities.
The SPSU team took first place in that competition with a proposal to help abused women in Marietta. The students created a business plan for an organization called Restoration Trust that would enable women to escape abusive relationships by providing them with housing, education and employment assistance in the form of microloans.
SPSU alumna Sonal Doshi, who obtained a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) this winter and is now the controller of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, and Fred Arnold, an MBA student, delivered the team’s presentation at the March 3 workshop. They had strong support from fellow team members Chris Estrada (MBA), Becky Stringer (MBA) and Joelle Day, who graduated this winter with an MSA, as well as their advisor, Dr. Donald Ariail, associate professor of accounting.